Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Must a Developer Know the Language?

We were asked, "Have you ever applied for a software developer job where you didn't know the language?"

My story is not exactly the same as others might have, for several reasons, but I think it does answer the question.

There are two phases to my story. My first job developing software was at IBM, in 1956. At that time, I didn’t know any programming language, largely because there really weren’t any languages other than machine code. So, I spent two weeks in a closet learning my first computer language.

Actually, it was three languages at once: machine codes for the IBM 704 and 650, plus the wired “language” for the IBM 607.

The second phase of my story takes place some years later, when I became a consultant. In that role, I have helped many, many clients who were using languages I didn’t know—even though I knew quite a few by that time, including LISP, Smalltalk, APL, PL/I, COBOL, FORTRAN, C, Pascal, Simula, several home-grown special application languages, and the machine code for the IBM 7090, 1410, 705, STRETCH, Dec’s PDP-1 and a few other machines. I had also studied in a bookish way quite a few other machines while doing competitive analyses for IBM.

I was able to help those clients largely because their problems seldom had much to do with the details of their chosen language(s). Instead, they were people problems of all sorts. The problems that did wind up with a language embodiment were usually easy to spot using my general knowledge of computer languages and typical errors people made in using them. That’s why I’ve always insisted that professional developers should know at least a handful of different language.

I think there's an analogy here with the term "mathematical maturity," something we might call "programming maturity." Here's how Wikipedia defines mathematical maturity:

Mathematical maturity is an informal term used by mathematicians to refer to a mixture of mathematical experience and insight that cannot be directly taught. Instead, it comes from repeated exposure to mathematical concepts. It is a gauge of mathematics student's erudition in mathematical structures and methods.

For instance, a mature mathematician is able to transcend notational differences, unlike my tutorial student who flunked algebra because he had learned to "solve for x," but said, "You didn't teach me to solve for y."

We could easily use most of those words to define "programming maturity," the ability that allows you to succeed in a developer job using a language in which you have no previous experience.

Monday, August 07, 2017

How Stressful is Software Engineering?

We were asked, "How Stressful is Software Engineering on Average?"

First of all, be clear. *Average* stress is not what an individual should be concerned about. Your concern should be about stress in your particular environment.

Second, you may be confused because of the widespread misuse of the word “stress.” Physicists say “stress” when they speak of applied forces. 

The way a system responds to those forces is called “strain.”

When you are the system subject to stress, you are a human being, not an inert piece of material. Therefore, you can learn to adjust the amount of strain you experience from the stresses in your environment.

Two people working in the same environment can experience widely different strains.

One person can be destroyed by a “stressful” environment while another can be inspired to work miracles. It’s your choice. Instead of worrying about the stress of your environment, work on the strained ways in which you respond to that environment.

Don’t be a victim.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Writing without the letter "A"

We were tested to see if we could write blog entries without the letter "A"

Of course we could write them. We could write lots of them. Indeed, I use this exercise in my writing courses, not just with the letter mentioned, but with every letter in English. Try it. Your writing will improve.

By the bye, some people wrote whole books without the letter E.
Weinberg on Writing
Try this test. Choose some letter, some difficult letter. Post some whole blog comment without using your letter.

If you would like to improve your writing, try

Oh, look. I unconsciously wrote the book title without the forbidden letter. It must be some terrific book. Multi-published reviewers think so:

"Don't write your book–build it with Weinberg's Fieldstone Method." - D. Poynter, writer of The Self-Publishing Manual 
"It's changed how I intend to write my next book." - P. D., children's writer
"Buy this book. Work through the exercises…" J.R., techie writer

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Get the Better You Bundles for Good Now!

It’s here! The Better You Bundles for Good is on sale now for four days only. Get over $6000 worth of personal development courses and books for only $97. There are over 140 products in this amazing bundle! If you are interested in improving your life, there has never been a better selection of resources at such an amazing price. Just a couple of the products will more than pay for the $97 price.

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(Visit the website for the final list and more information.)
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There Is More Inside Self-Image & Attitude Development Program - S.Renee Smith Value $197 srenee.com
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Personal Resilience In An Hour - Chris Johnstone - Value $70 collegeofwellbeing.com
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3 Beliefs that will Transform Your Life - Value $55 JakeVayda.com
21 Days to Learn to Embrace Being a Highly Sensitive Person - Lauren Stewart - Value $55 findyourmagichsp.com
Meditations on the Natural World - Molly Larkin - Value $50 MollyLarkin.com
Build strong connections in 21 days - Tyler Tervooren - Value $50 Riskology.co
Plan Your Ideal Freedom Year in 2017! - Natalie Sisson - Value $49 - suitcaseentrepreneur.com
Just-Write! Writing Worskhop - Debra Moffit - Value $47 debramoffitt.com
The Complete Guide To Creating A Successful Life - Carl Pullein - Value $45 carlpullein.com
Starting, Managing, and Scaling a Successful Online Business - Rob Cubbon - Value $39 robcubbon.com
12 Day Detox - Total Transformation - Lisa Metzgar, PhD - Value $35 BioFunctionalHealth.com
Morning Routine: My 5 Step System For Morning Ritual Mastery - Adrian Landsberg - Value $25 thelifestylecompound.com
Goal Setting: My Exact Goal Setting Blueprint For Success - Adrian Landsberg - Value $25 thelifestylecompound.com
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How To Increase Your Personal Energy, and Help More People - Adam Shaw - Value $25 adamshaw.co
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Brilliantly Better - Dragos Roua dragosroua.com
Why You’re Stuck - Derek Doepker derekdoepker.com
Your Focus Formula - Diana Fitts betterthanalive.com
Don’t Be Your Own Worst Enemy - Self-Care for Busy People - Neil Thompson neilthompson.info
Personal Development Simplified - Break Negative Patterns and Take Control of Your Life. Guaranteed. - Kshitij Prasai alifewellcreated.com
Quit Your Job And Live - A Beginners Guide to Building a Location Free Income & Travel Hacking Your Way Around the World - Adrian Landsberg thelifestylecompound.com
How I Became Productive -12 Proven Factors to Productivity - Abder-Rahman Ali abder.io
Optimize for Victory - A Simple Approach to Overcome Challenges and Achieve Your Dreams - Lisa Kardos optimizebooks.com
The ​Mindful ​Walker - Rediscovering the Simple Path to a Healthier, Happier, More Peaceful Life - Alex Strauss themindfulwalker.com
Powerful Confidence - Annalie Coetzer lifesuccessblog.com
Paths to Wholeness: Fifty-Two Flower Mandalas - David J. Bookbinder transformationspress.org
Better Running Goals - Diana Fitts betterthanalive.com
Build Your Laptop Lifestyle - 10 Issues - Agnes Bogardi agnesbogardi.com
Assess - Decide - Do - Natural Productivity Dragos Roua dragosroua.com
Get Your Creative Projects Finished Now! - Eric Maisel ericmaisel.com
Take Your Power Back - Healing Lessons, Tips, and Tools for Abuse Survivors - Evelyn M. Ryan yourlifelifter.com
At the Core of Every Heart: Reflections, Insights, and Practices for Waking Up and Living Free - Dr. Gail Brenner gailbrenner.com
Are Your Lights On? - Gerald M. Weinberg geraldmweinberg.com
What Did You Say? The Art of Giving and Receiving Feedback - Gerald M. Weinberg geraldmweinberg.com
The Millionaire Mentor - Unlocking the Secrets of Wealth Greg S. Reid gregreid.com
Her Blood is Gold: Awakening to the Wisdom of Menstruation - Ian Thorp archivepublishing.co.uk
Parallel Worlds: A Transpersonal Autobiobraphy - Ian Thorp archivepublishing.co.uk
The Dream of the Cosmos: a Quest for the Soul - Ian Thorp ianthorp.co.uk
What Next? - Diana Fitts betterthanalive.com
50 Steps to Freedom A Personal Journey from Depression to Joy - Stephen Connor stephenconnor.org
Alchemy: The Art of Transformation - Ian Thorp ianthorp.co.uk
How To Give a Shit About Your Health - Karina Inkster karinainkster.com
21 Days to a Happy Clutter Free Life - Lauren Bromberg sunshineyouniversity.com
I, Mammal: How to Make Peace With the Animal Urge for Social Power - Loretta G. Breuning, PhD innermammalinstitute.org
Letting Go of Difficult Emotions - Lori Deschene tinybuddha.com
The Rainbow Way - Lucy H. Pearce lucyhpearce.com
The Impact of the Human Stress Response - The Biologic Origins of Human Stress - Mary Wingo, Ph.D. marywingo.com​​
The Ten-Year Turnaround: Transform Your Personal Finances and Achieve Financial Freedom in The Next Ten Years - Matthew Paulson mattpaulson.com
Long Term Person, Short Term World: How to Manage Time, Tasks, and Texts: Methods for Living an Ambitious, Authentic, Unapologetic Life: Goal Management and Personal Productivity in the Modern World - Michael Motta mjmottajr.com
Inspiration is a Habit - Turn Your Purpose Into a Profession - James McCrae shityouregosays.com
The Fountain of Youth is Just A Breath Away: Breathing Exercises For Relaxation, Health And Vitality - Molly Larkin mollylarkin.com
Procrastination - Putting Things Off and How to Stop Doing It - Neil Thompson neilthompson.info
The Secrets of Consulting - Gerald M. Weinberg geraldmweinberg.com
What Lies Within You - Molly Larkin mollylarkin.com
The Tree of Life: Talks by Buntie Will - Ian Thorp ianthorp.co.uk
Active Listening - How to Communicate Better - Neil Thompson neilthompson.info
Effective Writing - Neil Thompson neilthompson.info
Job Interviews - Giving Yourself the Best Chance - Neil Thompson neilthompson.info
The Morning Book; Daily Rituals For Sacred Living - Molly Larkin mollylarkin.com
Stress Matters Keeping Stress at Bay - Neil Thompson neilthompson.info
Tackling Bullying and Harassment Developing Dignity at Work - Neil Thompson neilthompson.info
Just Tell Me What I Want - Sara Kravitz sarakravitz.com
Getting a Grip on Time - Productivity and Life Balance Made Easy - Robyn Pearce gettingagrip.com
Self-Love - Stephen Connor stephenconnor.org
Weinberg on Writing - Gerald M. Weinberg geraldmweinberg.com
The Reluctant Messenger - Stephen Connor stephenconnor.org
What is Your What? - Steve Olsher steveolsher.com
Wake Up Call - Thibaut Meurisse WhatisPersonalDevelopment.org
Online Business Productivity - Timo Kiander PracticalBliss.com
Agile Project Management For Busy Managers - Tony Riches tonyriches.com
Tackling Low Self-esteem Building Confidence and Self-Respect - Neil Thompson neilthompson.info
Get Your Money Where Your Mouth Is - David R. Portney kallistipublishing.com
People Centricity: The Incredible Power of Putting Other People First - Stephen Hewett kallistipublishing.com
About Time - 120 Tips for Those with No Time - Robyn Pearce gettingagrip.com
I Believe Therefore I Am - Claire McGee kallistipublishing.com
Running For My Life: From Zero to Ultramarathoner - Dragos Roua dragosroua.com
The Millionaire's Message - Bryan James kallistipublishing.com
Effective Teamwork- How to Develop a Successful Team - Neil Thompson neilthompson.info
You Can Move Mountains - J.F. Straw kallistipublishing.com
Love is the answer: A Guide to Awakening the Heart and Stepping into True Authenticity - Zoe Davenport zoedavenport.co.uk
Personal Growth Bundle - Annalie Coetzer lifesuccessblog.com
Exploit Yourself: A Master Class in Personal Networking Techniques - Bruce Wade em-solutions.co.za
Vision to Reality - How Short Term Massive Action Equals Maximum Results - Honoree Corder honoreecorder.com
Personal Productivity For Busy Managers - Tony Riches tonyriches.com
Turning Imagination into Results - Strategies to Elevate Your LIfe and Career - James McCrae shityouregosays.com
Simplify - 7 Guiding Principles to Help Anyone Declutter Their Home and Life - Joshua Becker becomingminimalist.com
Dear God How Can I Heal So That I May Love - Margaret Paul innerbonding.com
Shut Up and Write - The No-Nonsense, No B.S. Guide to Getting Words On the Page - Mridu Khullar Relph theinternationalfreelancer.com
Write Your Way Out Of Depression: Practical Self-Therapy For Creative Writers. - Rayne Hall raynehall.com
Tick-Tack - The Story of Your Time - How to Tame TIME and Make Him Your Ally! - Alina Margineanu alinamargineanu.com
Jack and the Team that Couldn't See - Tony Wilson performancelab.com.au
The Lunatic Gene - How to Make Sense of Your Life - Adam Shaw adamshaw.co
Getting a Grip on Leadership - How to Learn Leadership Without Making All the Mistakes Yourself - Robyn Pearce gettingagrip.com
Sleep and Sleep Disorders - A Brief Introduction - Neil Thompson neilthompson.info
Getting a Grip on The Paper War - Managing Information in the Modern Office - Robyn Pearce gettingagrip.com
Working With Todoist - Get Started with Todoist so You Can Get Better Organized and Achieve Greater Productivity - Carl Pullein carlpullein.com
Your Digital Life - Everything You Need to Know to Get Your Life Organised and Put Technology to Work for You - Carl Pullein carlpullein.com

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